Families have implemented more cost-saving strategies to cut college spending in the past academic year, choosing less expensive schools and finding more economical ways for students to attend, Fox News reports. More students also are living at home in order to help afford college, according to new survey results. The findings are from an annual study released Monday by Sallie Mae, the country’s largest student lender. They show that the average amount spent on college by families responding to the survey declined by 5 percent in the 2011-12 school year. More parents and students alike said they make their college decisions based on the cost they can afford to pay than in the previous four studies.

“This really reflects the economic conditions that we see today,” said Sarah Ducich, senior vice president at Sallie Mae. “We are seeing families make adjustments, saving more money and being more cost-conscious.”

The survey, conducted for Sallie Mae by the Ipsos polling firm, was based on telephone interviews in April and May with 1,601 college undergraduates and parents…

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